If a running friend from out of town asked me to recommend a trail with oodles of variety and a high fun factor, I would immediately suggest Town Run Trail Park.
It’s located about three miles from my house, and I always have a great time running the seven-mile trail loop there.
I ran the loop early this morning and was in a great mood for hours afterward.
What I love about this trail is the incredible variety within a fairly small park. Look at these photos and you’ll see what I mean. In an hour or so, you run through woods, meadows, alongside a river and by a creek. There are twists and turns and a few challenging hills.
You also get a bit of workout. That’s because the trail loops back and forth dozens of times up and over an earthen dike about 15 feet high, so you really need to turn on the speed every few minutes to power over the steep, short hills.
The trail is primarily for mountain bikers, and contains lots of jumps and drops that bikers love. But hikers and runners are welcome too.
On paper, the course resembles a tangled fishing line: lots of loops, twists and turns. And that’s pretty much how it is on the actual course. Every 10 or 20 steps, you’ll have to change directions.
If you like running with short sight lines and lots of variety, you’ll love this course. On the other hand, if you like running in a straight line for mile after mile, you might want to go somewhere else.
There are only a couple of drawbacks to this course. First, a short segment (maybe a half-mile) runs alongside a busy highway, and that can dampen a trail runner’s mood just a bit.
The other drawback is that the park closes when the trails become too muddy. The biking group that maintains the trails is extremely concerned about erosion (rightly so, I think) and doesn’t hestitate to slam the gates shut after too many days of rain. I’ve been turned away, disappointed, several times. But that’s life as a trail runner.
However, when I’m in the mood for a beautiful, laid-back trail just a few miles from my house, this really scratches my itch.
And since I like loops, cool scenery, variety and don’t like to drive forever to find them, I really think this the best seven miles a trail runner will find in Indy.
The only tough part about today’s run was storm damage in a handful of place from yesterday’s thunderstorm. Several trees had fallen across the trail, requiring me to scamper over or around. Not that I really minded. It’s all part of the charm.
Here are a few more photos to tide you over, until you run this fun little trail yourself.